It’s hard to find reliable fitness information. There’s a lot of stuff. A lot of propaganda. A lot of hype.
Sarah Rippel isn’t hype. She is a fitness expert with a southern kind of swag. I invited Sarah to drop some knowledge about the weaknesses in your fitness routine. These are advanced concepts so she provides full video demonstrations at the end. You will learn.
Who is this article for?
If you are runner, a triathlete, or a crossfitter, you need this.
If you have aches in your body, you need this.
If you want your butt to look better, you need this.
If you’re over 30, you need this.
If you’re under 30, you need this. Your body doesn’t even know what it’s doing yet.
Now, I’ll let Sara take over. Take notes. She is an expert.
When Angel suggested the topic for my guest post, I was excited. She wanted me to write about the three most neglected muscle groups in women. This was easy for me as I’ve seen these issues in most of my female clients: decreased hip mobility, lack of proper glute functioning, and scapular control. [Angel says: This article is targeted to women but don’t get it twisted, fellas, you know you got these issues, too.]
3 Fitness Issues You Need To Fix Now
The first issue is a lack of hip mobility. A decrease in hip mobility usually comes from spending too much time in the seated position. And it shows up in many ways. People who have low back pain mistakenly believe the cure is to perform stretches for the low back. But low back pain may be the result of decreased hip mobility. The same goes for knee issues. Think of the body as a stack of joints. If an area isn’t functioning properly (ie: tight hips), it affects the joints above and/or below it. A lack of hip mobility can lead to pain and a decreased ability to move, resulting in less enjoyment of exercise and daily life. Who wants that?!
Hip Mobility Routine
1. Half-Kneeling 3D Psoas Stretch – 5 reps for each plane of motion per side
2. Modified Cossack Stretch – 5-8 reps per side
3. Half Turkish Get-Up – 5 reps per side (bodyweight first) then add 8-15 lbs
The second issue is impaired glute function. In most people, the glutes are “shut down,” therefore other muscles take over. This leads to imbalances and faulty recruitment patterns, further exacerbating the problem. Most exercises that women associate with glute training (ie: squats and lunges) aren’t effective if the glutes aren’t firing! It is important to address this because the glutes allow the body to function more efficiently and they add shape. You can tell when someone’s glutes are “asleep” – they typically have a flat butt! [Angel says: A big butt with no firmness or no shape is also a sign of inactive glute muscles.]
Glute Function Routine
1. Bridge – 15 reps
2. Staggered Stance Hip Hinge + Rotation – 10 reps per side
3. Kettlebell Swing – 15lbs or more
The third issue is insufficient scapular control. We’re talking shoulder blades. All of the muscles that work to control the scapulae are often neglected because you can’t see ‘em! It is important to improve the strength and mobility of this area because it plays a big role in posture. As the anterior side of the body tends to be dominant, it makes sense to promote a balanced physique not only to improve posture but to prevent injury as well. Unfortunately, the scapular region is neglected because women are simply unsure of how to train it properly.
Scapular Control Routine
1. Dowel Awareness Drill – 5 reps of 10 second holds (retraction; depression)
2. Scapular Push-Up – 10 reps
3. Quadruped Sliding Reaches – 5-10 reps per side
Try these exercise 2-3 times per week. You should see an improvement in not only these areas, but your entire body! Why? The body doesn’t function as individual muscle groups. It’s a beautifully crafted machine designed to function flawlessly. Therefore we must pay extra attention to our weak areas so that our bodies move better and we feel better!
Sarah Rippel has been helping people improve their health for over 14 years. She is the owner of Rippel Effect, offering one-on-one, small group training, and outdoor fitness camps in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. Check out her website for tons of useful fitness-related posts. Follow her on Twitter @fitprosarah and on facebook.
Do you incorporate these into your routines? Which exercises are new to you?